Took a group of 30 to Israel to see the Core Sites of the Core Stuff. We saw that the locations match the eyewitness accounts. You can click on the links to see the locations' webpages for yourself. There were some extra sights that I had not seen before.
God Creates - Neot Kedumim shows how local plants were meant to grow, and their significance in Bible times. Everything needed for food & medicines was provided. God knows what he's doing.
Humans sin - Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, soldiers, checkpoints, crime, and disparate worldviews remind us that we all need a Saviour!
The Law & Prophets are given as a reliable revelation from God, recording God's work in history and foreshadowing God's work in the Messiah to come and in the future. - Qumran is where Bible texts were so accurately scribed and preserved, we even stood in the Scriptorium itself where the action took place. - Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, we saw parts of those actual texts from before the time of Christ with our own eyes! The Great Isaiah scroll from the second century BC, does contain all the prophecies fulfilled by the Messiah centuries later. - Jerome's cells are where Jerome translated the original languages into Latin, the language of the day, or The Vulgate. It took him 30 years in Bethlehem. - City of David excavations revealing the place of coronation, walls and foundations of Davids old city, Hezekiah's tunnel, the seals of King Hezekiah, Gemarayahu, and most probably Isaiah the prophet. We took the Temple steps from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Gates in the Davidson Centre, where I also stood on the Herodian streets and saw the replica of the trumpeting place of the Temple where it had fallen in the first century. All is as mentioned in the Bible.
God becomes flesh. Messiah is born. Son of God, Creator incarnate! - grotto under the Church of the Nativityis where he was born. Nothing much remains of the building, but the place of both the birth and the manger are uncontested by the three churches at this site (Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian). - Nazareth Village, on the site of a first century vineyard, shows us life growing up for Jesus. (Here I learned that Nazereth was an offshoot of Bethlehem for David's descendants to live in the Galilee area. Nazer means shoot - Mt2:23 / Isa53:1-2.) - Sepphoris, this Roman town being built using Nazarene labour in Jesus' day would likely have utilised the building skills of Joseph and his sons.
Jesus' Life demonstrates Love for both God and People - Capernaum was Jesus hometown during his ministry years. One of these houses was his, one was Matthew's, and one is actually identified as Peter's. - Baptism site over Jordan, and the Judean Desert where Jesus was led by the Spirit to fast before battling Satan. -Mt of Beatitudes, Kursi, Magdala, Tabgha, Tiberias where Jesus taught and did miracles as he criss-crossed the lake on mission to the differrent countries circling Galilee. And a high place overlooking these countries like where he gave the Great Commission. - Bethesda where we can see how deep the sands of time were over the last 2000 years, and peer down to where Jesus healed that cripple. Also the aforementioned districts from Siloam to the Temple.
Jesus' Resurrection turns death into a door ...and the Garden Tomb has a tomb carved into a wall, in a garden, with a winepress... The location matches eyewitness accounts of where Jesus rose again on the third day. - Church of Holy Sepulchre is the traditional site for these events, but has been so overbuilt that it is hard to get a sense of whether it matched the Biblical descriptions. Having more than one site that does match only strengthens the veracity of the eyewitness accounts. - The Garden, Emmaeus, Upper room, a Galilean mountain top, Tabgha Beach are all places where Jesus appeared over the next 40 days, and fit the accounts well. - Mt of Olives Chapel of the Ascension from where Jesus ascended to heaven...
Jesus' Spirit descends to lead us through life and death... - Upper Room the location where The Spirit of Christ descended in to his disciples at Pentecost.
Grow in Community with God and people now and forever. Go share this - Jaffa, where Jonah ran from, has St Peter's Church and Simon the Tanner's house, where Peter received the vision to include the Gentiles, just before Roman Cornelius knocks at the door. - A Mountain overlooking Galilee's many nations is where Jesus gives the Great Commission to go into all nations... - Departure, as we depart Israel for locations all over the world, we follow the steps of the disciples, and the Spirit of our Lord, going to all nations, making disciples, so they too might grow in love for God and people, both now and forever. Eventually, Israel always points us back to the redemption of the whole world.
The Core Stuff
Olive Tree shoots
Isaiah manuscript circa 100BC
Bulla seals from Hezekiah's reign
Shofar stone unearthed where it had fallen to street level in 70AD.
Jesus born here
Jesus lived in one of these houses in Capernaum
Magdala synagogue where Jesus taught
Polluted bus depot at Place of the Skull. Symbolic.